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I Am An Irish Traveller. Ama

Go ahead and ask anything... Im an open book...
poppyjoy poppyjoy 18-21, F 12 Responses Feb 28, 2012

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Hello Poppyjoy
I was raised by my dad and mom on the carnival back in the 1960s. My dad ran the Hootchi Cootchi show back then and later he went back to running the crooked games on the midway. He always said we carnies were distant cousins to the Travelers here in America because of our nomadic life living in a caravan(camper trailer most of the year and also the way the country folk as you call them viewed us along with Travelers as "Gypsies, tramps and thieves" my dad was proud to be a Carny and viewed taking customers money as giving them an education.
So how do feel about being me cousin Poppyjoy?

Hi there. :)
I have just read all this and am really annoyed on your behalf.
@ Johnny and a load of numbers.
I think you are actually talking out of your back side.
You can't lump everybody together. Is that not incredibly ignorant?
Like all walks of life, there is the good and the bad.
Is every single muslim alive a terrorist? Does every single black person carry a gun?
I think you are the one who sounds retarded making such assumptions.
At least Poppy actually has given people the opportunity to ask her questions and has not shied away. I also do not think that EVERYTHING portrayed by Channel 4 is true. Are they really concerned about showing true like and the best interests of the travellers or adding some untruths to pull in viewers and make more money?
Something that impressed me on one of those shows was a 7 year old traveller boy and this little guy could actually operate a digging machine and his 12 year old sister could drive a car. They learnt to do that. Regardless of legalities, it is still impressive. The girls can dress how they like and I wouldn't describe them as having whatever you said thunder thighs or big tummys. They have a nice shape and does it not make a change than the normal stick thin anorexics that the media throw at us. They take pride in their appearance. I think they look good. And they know it too. What is wrong with that? It surely doesn't matter what a person wears, as long as their heart is in the right place. Same as perhaps a gothic person or a punk rocker, etc.. why should anybody be judged on appearance alone? Have we suddenly gone back in time by 150 years? People should have the option to choose how they live their lives and by what ethics too. You should remember this.
You cannot cast somebody as a specific thing just because they happen to belong to a certain group or way of life. Find out about them as an individual FIRST, rather than just lumping them as a stereotypical division. This is obstinate thinking.
Sorry just had to say this!! Hope Mr John 50 million numbers reads it.
Lin. x :)

He is blocked. I have had it with the prejudice and the sizeism. Sadly, thats a pretty accurate portrait of the types of things I have to deal with on a daily basis in my real life.

I want to ask too... why do the girls dress like that? And I do not care how they dress... what I am getting at really, is some of these girls look really stupid. And they look stupid in the way that some have these huge thunder thighs and massive pot bellies yet they actually think they look fantastic wearing these shorts or skirts and crop tops. Traveller Ladies, if you must do this.... PLEASE, please do some sit ups or stop eating and lose weight because you look awful when you are that overweight in these clothes and the general opinion is "God look at her, she is too fat for that"

You keep saying "it isn't just a Traveller thing and others do it too" and the examples I will use are... thieving and conning people and think it is extremely funny too pull stupid pranks (like setting of fireworks at people's cars) but the difference is...

"Settled" people who did that would get put in jail or get some kind of punishment but Traveller's do it and know they can get away with it because nobody will dare to go to the police about it. Even the police stay wary. If the Traveller's find out who complained then they will round up a group of their buddies and come and cause some right havoc.

But Traveller men think they are so "hard" or "tough".... but they go round in packs.... I can assure you if 1 Traveller man of average height started on 1 man of 7 ft tall he would not win. That is way they travel around in groups. But really this is a ***** thing to do. They can only intimidate as part of a group and not on their own? Ha!

I will also add that, yes.. other people as well as Traveller's rob and con people. But the Settled that do it, they have an address for which the police can find them and arrest them. Traveller's can obviously up and leave when it pleases them to do so, so therefore will hardly ever be caught.

Other thing I'd like to ask is, on some of these Irish Gypsy/Traveller television shows.. The girls always sound really thick. Not because they have an Irish accent, I do not mean that. I mean (actual examples I have heard...) "Yeah they fighted each other" and "Have you brung my Benson & Hedges?" and yes, I understand that the girls/boys are taken out of school say at age 12. What I do not understand, why the hell have these traveller kids not learnt to read and write properly at the age of 12? Can't blame the schools... because every other 12 year old can write and read easily.

First of all, not all Traveller girls stay in school, and many get pulled out before they're 12. But I did stay in school, and I can tell you LOADS of settled teenage girls who go to school talk like that too. Thats just a popular culture thing, not a Traveller thing, as Ive told you a million times. Do I sound thick to you? Just because I'm a Traveller?

How come some Irish Traveller males (say age between 16-20) do stupid retarded things they say is for "fun" like setting off fireworks and pointing them at other people's cars as they drive by? They are just ******, people who do that.

I see lots of settled young people doing that too. Thats not a Traveller thing, thats a human thing.

What I want to ask is why a lot of Irish Traveller's make out in 1 respect to be very religious Catholics and the next they are stealing vehicles to ***** apart or sell abroad, ripping people off by telling elderly people they need more doing to their roof than actually is true or putting a layer of oil over their driveway and pretending they've tarmacked it. Is this not very 2 faced? Claiming to be a good Catholic and then conning others or thieving. You said to ask you anything. Wonder if you will print this? I hope so.

First of all, not only Travellers are the only ones doing bad things and pretending to be good Catholics and Christians. Thats not a Traveller or gypsy thing, thats just a religious person thing. Second, I dont know anyone who has ever done anything like that, Traveller or settled. My family all does honest work. Dont take some stories you hear in the press and judge and entire group of people buy it. That's run-of-the-mill prejudice.

What is the "code" that you were talking about? How are women treated differently to men?

It's all very traditional. Women stay at home and clean and take care of the children. A lot of times women are treated like property. The code is how travellers act, how they treat each other.

I don't see a problem with that, it is how I am in my marriage too.

i prefer the traveller way of life way better, yes i am a non traveller but since i started getting interested in the culture as my traveller friend who i have known all my life told me how travellers live ,i just wanted to go about a traveller way of life and would love to marry a traveller boy , im only 16, but my parents and friends dont understand why i want tolive a traveler life even though i want to .. what should i do?, do you think i will or wont be able?

Lots of traveller families start by just packing up one day and moving. If you have it in you, you can do it. Lots of travellers are suspicious, though, of country people because of the racism of the past. It might be hard fitting in.

Yes but where would i go ? , am i dreaming to hard?

Where wouldn't you go? You're travelling!

You may answer my question privately if you want. Have you ever broken the code or done something you thought was OK at the time but everyone got really upset with you? I'd like to know how that went.

I've never found it very difficult to follow the code. It gets annoying that women are treated differently than the men in some communities, but my family has always been very understanding. I don't feel like I miss out on anything really.

How do you cope with the prejudice against you in Ireland? Are you ba<x>sed somewhere other than Ireland and is it better there?

I can't say about Ireland, because I'm in England, but prejudice is a really big problem. It's difficult to deal with, especially when people treat you right one minute, and call you gyppo scum the next. And people can get quite violent. People like to talk about how gypsies and traveller start brawls, but it's usually the country people who start the fights, as far as I've seen.

It's a difficult situation here in Ireland - there is a great deal of prejudice against the Traveller community - some if it down to ignorance on the part of the general population - but a lot of it down to the fact that the Travelling community doesn't always do itself any favours - there's a lot of resentment on both sides.

There is prejudice against Travelers (spelled with one 'l' here) in the USA too but I don't think it is as bad here as I've heard it gets in the UK. Most of it is mistrust &amp; misunderstanding on both sides.

Do you mean like a gypsy? Why don't most travellers take their mess with them when they leave? How do you support yourself financially? What do you do for water and toilet facilities? What's so great about travelling around, why not find a place to settle?

Gypsy's are from Romani descent, but it's a common misconception. I can't speak for others, but my family always left wherever we stayed as clean as when we got there, because that's how you show respect for nature. Most Traveller girls don't work, but I work in a shop and my father has a scrap metal business. Most campsites have a pit toilet and sometimes showers, but most caravans have showers in them. And there isn't really anything that makes you more free than being able to have the open road in front of you, being able to go anywhere the wind takes you.

Unfortunately, it's a romantic ideal which doesn't fit with modern society and the Traveller community will always be at odds for that reason. The settled community is resentful of the Traveller's way of life and their habits in general. It's very difficult for an outsider to really be accepted by Travellers ... there is so much misunderstanding on both sides.

I can see the attraction of the freedom element but I'd miss a soak in the bath and the pit toilet would do nothing for me lol

We often have travellers on a patch of grass that the local kids play on, the kids are upset cause they can't play and the mess when they go is terrible, it must cost loads for the council to clean it up. I think they would be tollerated so much easier if it wasn't for the mess.

My family always cleans up after themselves.

trouble is you will always be tared with the same brush of those that don't and many experiences of travellers are not good.

That's not a me problem, that seems like other peoples problems.

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